KARACHI: Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq was left ruing the loss of early wickets as Pakistan lost the second One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka by 25 runs in Dubai despite a superb 102-ball 91 by Umar Akmal, as the visitors levelled the five-match series 1-1.
Pakistan were reeling at 11 for three, chasing Sri Lanka’s 236, after fast-bowler Lasith Malinga’s double-wicket burst in the first over sent Mohammad Hafeez and Younus Khan packing, before Imran Farhat got out a few overs later. Misbah blamed the top-order collapse for his team’s defeat.
“We lost three early wickets and then kept on losing wickets, and that built pressure on us,” said Misbah, who lost his first limited-overs international as captain.
“It was a bad day for us and we need to put our heads down and learn from our mistakes. It was just a matter of playing 50 overs, which we didn’t do.”
‘Our mistakes cost us the match’
Meanwhile, coach Mohsin Khan admitted that mistakes committed by his players cost Pakistan the match.
“Our own mistakes cost us the match,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune from Dubai. “I’m not taking anything away from Sri Lanka but we lacked spark in our bowling while some batsmen played irresponsibly.”
‘Changes likely for third ODI’
The coach revealed that the team management has decided to make changes for the third ODI, which takes place on November 18, after playing the same side in the first
“There will be changes for the third match,” he said while adding that the team will be finalised after ‘assessing conditions before the match’.
Meanwhile, according to an official close to the team management, fast-bowler Aizaz Cheema, opener Imran Farhat and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez’s places are under threat for the match on Friday. Two of these players may be dropped to pave way for fast-bowler Junaid Khan and all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
Sri Lanka captain Tillekaratne Dilshan, on the other hand, finally had something to cheer about after going winless through the tour.
“It’s a big relief, we badly needed to win the match,” said Dilshan, whose team lost the preceding Test series 1-0. “It was a fantastic team effort and now we have more confidence for the rest of the matches. We needed early wickets and thanks to Malinga we got two in the first over but we still kept the pressure. I’m happy that our bowlers did well.”
Sri Lanka posted 235 for seven in their allotted 50 overs with opener Upul Tharanga (77) and Mahela Jayawardene (50) being the main contributors. For Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal returned figures of three for 61.
Akmal led the chase brilliantly, hitting one six and eight boundaries in his 91. Three of those fours came in Dilhara Fernando’s 38th over before he was caught out, going for one boundary too many.
Afridi hit a 14-ball 29 to give the hosts some hope before being brilliantly run out by Dilshan.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2011.